The Book of Revelation (part 28)
February 10, 2021
The Book of Revelation (part 28)
Revelation 16 – The Seven Bowl Judgments
Review – A quick summary of the chapters
Revelation 4 shows God as the creator, owner, and sustainer of all things. The Sovereign. The Almighty. He alone is worthy to bring fair judgments and justice into a fallen world.
Revelation 5 shows God with a scroll in His right hand, the hand of authority. The scroll is God’s title deed to the earth, He is the earth’s rightful owner and is preparing to take it back from His enemy Satan, who took the authority over it from Adam and Eve when they sinned.
In Revelation 6, we looked at the opening of 6 of the 7 seals on the scroll in God’s right hand.
Revelation 7 is a parenthesis between the 6th and 7th seals, showing God’s protection of Jews before the Day of the Lord wrath begins, and shows the raptured saints in heaven before God’s wrath is poured out.
The rapture of the church occurs after the 6th seal is opened and the cosmic disturbances happen in Revelation 6, beginning with verse 12. The rapture ends this period of severe terror by antiChrist, and prepares the way for the 7th seal to be opened and the Day of the Lord to begin.
Revelation 8 is the beginning of the Day of the Lord, which is when the wrath of God is being poured out.
Understand that there is a clear pattern, or sequence of events, that is transpiring in Revelation.
The scroll in God’s right hand has been unsealed. The church of the Lord Jesus will be here for the breaking of the first 6 seals on the scroll, as mentioned in Revelation 6.
But the church is taken out before the 7th seal is broken. The 7th seal opens the scroll in God’s hand. The obvious contents of the scroll are 7 trumpets, which begin the wrath of God unleashed on those without Christ who follow Satan’s plans. After the 7 trumpets are 7 bowls containing the final outpouring of the wrath of God.
In Revelation 8 and 9 are the Trumpet Judgments .
Some believe that the time period of the trumpet judgments is about two years or so. It’s really hard to know for sure. We do know that the antiChrist rules for 3½ years and then turns against Israel. From that time to the blowing of the last or 7th trumpet is 3½ years.
The Great Tribulation (the period of intense persecution right after the antiChrist turns against Israel) will last for 1 to 1½ years. No one is quite sure. Just think about this, so that when the antiChrist appears with the peace agreement with Israel, you will have an idea of how long we have before the rapture of the church.
Revelation 10 is another interlude (pause) between events and begins a series of events that will culminate with the return of Jesus!
An angel, the Lord Jesus, appears, and a scroll is opened which contains what will happen in Revelation 11 with the two witnesses, the 2nd coming of Christ at the blowing of the 7th trumpet, and then the bowl judgments that will cleanse the earth during the 75 extra days after the 70th week of Daniel is completed.
Jesus returns when the 7th trumpet is blown, and is here during the bowl judgments. He goes back and brings believers with Him from Heaven to help Him with the last battle (Armageddon).
The events of Revelation 11 are contained in the scroll in the angel’s hand in Revelation 10.
These events include the measuring of the temple, the desecration of Jerusalem, information about the ministry of the two witnesses, and the blowing of the 7th trumpet, which is the 2nd coming of Christ to earth, and the bowl judgments that will be a final cleansing of the earth from sin.
There is an interlude, an overview.
Revelation 12 is looking back over the years of time to give us a broad view of what is happening, as God retakes the earth as His own.
There is a tremendous spiritual battle that takes place; Satan and his fallen angels are dethroned from their hierarchy around the earth, and they fall to the earth.
In Revelation 13:
The beast rising out the sea, the antiChrist, empowered by Satan, not only persecutes Jews, but also turns his persecution to the church where he unleashes severe hatred towards Christians as well as Jews (Revelation 13:1).
He begins a worldwide program with which he seeks to control the world by ruling everyone’s ability to conduct commerce with a mark of some kind. Most people will yield to Satan’s schemes through the antiChrist, simply because they want to feed their families and survive financially.
One-world gov’t, economy, religion.
Those who refuse the satanic reign of the antiChrist will suffer great persecution, and many will die.
We (the church) will be here for perhaps 4½ to 5 years of the antiChrist’s reign; it gets really bad 3½ years into it.
In Revelation 14:
Here, Jesus the overcoming, victorious Lamb, is standing with the 144,000 Jews who are sealed by God and protected from the antiChrist’s vengeance. They are called the firstfruits of the Lamb in Revelation 14:4, for they are the first of many people who during this time put their faith in Jesus for salvation.
Three angels proclaim warnings of judgments from God that are coming on the kingdom of the antiChrist and those who follow him. Anyone who follows him will suffer eternal judgment.
Revelation 15 is a prelude to the final 7 bowl judgments.
I want to remind you again that this time period is right after the 7-year tribulation. Jesus has returned in Revelation 11:15, and now the earth is undergoing its final cleansing from sin and rebellion, as the wrath of God is being poured out on the Kingdom of the antiChrist and on those who chose to follow him.
An additional 75 days are added to the time period of earth’s restoration from sin and rebellion to God.
Here, there are 30 days or less when these bowl judgments occur.
Then after the battle of Armageddon there is a 45-day restoration period before the 1000 year reign of Christ!
Remember that the church will NOT be here during this time. We are raptured to heaven before the 7th seal on the scroll in God’s right hand is opened!
Revelation 16:1 (NKJV)
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
This entire time of wrath happens in less than 30 days!
Revelation 16:2 (NKJV)
So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
Those who thought they would get away from the persecution of believers by taking the mark of the beast are in for a great shock as their bodies are ravaged by sores.
Revelation 16:3 (NKJV)
Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
This second bowl judgment is like the second trumpet judgment in Revelation 8:8-9 with one exception. There, only one-third of the oceans were affected. Here, all the life in all of the oceans dies!
This is also similar to the first plague Moses displayed in Egypt in Exodus 7:14-21, when the water turns to blood.
Revelation 16:4-7 (NKJV)
Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” 7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
The same thing happens to fresh water that happened to the oceans. It becomes non-drinkable.
This also happened during the Trumpet Judgments:
Revelation 8:10-11 (NLT)
Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch. It fell on one-third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star was Bitterness. It made one-third of the water bitter, and many people died from drinking the bitter water.
The people that followed antiChrist are now being judged for killing believers. The judgment is that their water turns to blood!
Revelation 16:8-9 (NKJV)
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
This shows the wickedness of the human heart. Even when their skin burns, causing extreme pain, their hearts are hardened.
These people have heard the gospel preached, and refuse to yield their hearts to God:
Revelation 14:6-7 (NKJV)
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people — 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Revelation 16:10-11 (NKJV)
Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
This is like the fourth Trumpet Judgment, but instead of just a third of the light being lessened, the beast’s kingdom was plunged into darkness.
Revelation 8:12 (NKJV)
Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
They gnawed their tongues due to perhaps the severe cold produced by the sun’s light darkening, the sores produced by the first bowl on those in league with the antiChrist, and the burns from intense sunlight from the fourth bowl, as well as from the water being polluted.
Revelation 16:12-16 (NKJV)
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
The Euphrates is one of the great rivers of the world. It is over 1800 miles in length and in history has been from 10 to 20 feet deep. Now there are dams in Turkey that affect this great river.
The Kings of the East (literally, of the rising sun) may refer to the armies of Japan and India and China.
Demons spirits come out of the mouths of the dragon (Satan), the beast (antiChrist), and the false prophet (religious leader). These demon spirits use words to deceive and malign rulers all over the world and influence them to fight in the great final battle of Armageddon.
Revelation 16:17-21 (NKJV)
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
This seventh trumpet brings a conclusion to the Day of the Lord Wrath. It decimates the Kingdom of the antiChrist.
The hailstones are 75 pounds each and devastate all living things. The earthquakes dissolve mountains and cause islands to disappear. They represent the fierce anger of a Holy God whose love, mercy, and grace has been mocked and ridiculed.
God always extends grace before judgment.
This last judgment will free the earth from the contaminants of sin and usher in a new day called the Millennial Reign of Christ!